ZYKLON made a big impact on the scene with their debut album in 2001 and I’ve been a fan ever since, even though I have to say that I wasn’t all that impressed with the rather uninspired follow-up album, 2003’s “Aeon”. Now three years later Samoth and co are back to crush our skull yet again. Well, with “Disintegrate” they do not disappoint!
Musically this is basically totally in the “Aeon” mould, but this time there is an added sense of intensity and feeling present. It’s not always that apparent upon first listen but this band has actually developed their sound quite a bit since their debut. “World Ov Worms” was a great mixture of Black Metal with cold Death and Industrial undertones, while “Aeon” was much more of a modern Death Metal album with Industrial nuances. “Disintegrate” is full on Death Metal with almost no Black or Industrial touches present and the so the end result is a much more lean, focused and powerful work. I was already impressed after only a few seconds of the opening riffage of “In Hindsight” – a track that showcases all the best sides this band possess, with effortless drumming and a mosh-worthy Thrashy Death Metal sound. The title track slows things down a bit only to explode near the end into a brilliant speed and soloing fest. “Ways Of The World” is a perfect amalgam of the two preceding tracks with a great chorus to boot. Apart from that there’s also the great speed monsters “Vile Ritual” and “Vulture”, both which feature Trym’s superhuman drumming and some great SLAYER meets BEHEMOTH riffing. On the last track, “Skinned And Endangered”, the band finally allow themselves to experiment a bit and the result is a more slow paced track with haunting electronic touches and a convincing Black-ish atmosphere.
We all know that these guys are scene veterans and masters of their craft. Vocalist Sechtdamon impressed me the most on here as he has settled in great into the band and his more varied vocal work on here is obviously a big plus. Guitar wise the album is top notch and I like that Samoth and Destructhor have paid more attention to the soloing this time around. And Trym, well, what need’s to be said? Brilliant!
So you see there are no real flaws here – this is an album of many peaks and no valleys. Of course some will complain (perhaps not unrightfully so) that the band didn’t evolve enough with this release, but overall I am very pleased with the album. It’s a great example of how modern Death Metal should sound, with equal emphasis on subtle experimentation and brutality. I’ll complain if their next album doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but for now ZYKLON have yet again established themselves as one of extreme Metal’s better bands! (Online August 29, 2006)